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Diabolically Arcane

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Manet or Monet?

10 September, 2013

This week, to take a break from intense Storming, I propose a game based on letter patterns. The idea was inspired by a crossword solver called Rob, who emailed last week. Last Friday he suspected my quick clue – Ineffectual people – was pointing to LIMP DICKS, rather than LAME DUCKS!

Can’t imagine we’ll top that ambiguity, but wonders never cease across these forums. For that’s our challenge – to craft a quick clue, where two answers share a strong overlap of letters. We can look for the sober kind:

M-N-T = French artist (2)
I-E-A-D = Nation (2)
– – MBA = Dance style (3) [RUMBA, SAMBA, ZUMBA]

Or the lame-duck deviations:

-OWARD = Chinless wonder (2)
P-R-I-G = Beach preoccupation (2)

If you feel a need to spell out your answers, such as my PARKING & PERVING example, then please oblige. Otherwise, let’s just see who can unearth the neatest or drollest examples. (And if you can imagine a further tangent this idea can take, then please suggest.) With no Friday ballot involved, this is less a Storm than a spot of R&R to give our voting brains a break!

Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

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Welcome all puzzle-lovers, including any chompers of the Wordburger book or app. (Check them out if you enjoy words & trickery.) And if you still crave more alphabet mischief, click on the burger icon above for a fresh serve.



Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

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Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

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Cluetopia roams the planet – and century – to find fresh crossword stories in 30+ languages. From shipwrecks to hoaxes, Cluetopia is a holiday for the head. Buy here.

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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